MOTHER TONGUE AS CORRELATES OF STUDENTS ACADEMICS PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH
Background of the study
It is difficult to emphasize the value of studying English as a basic ability enough, since it is vital for one to achieve mastery in one's other academic activities in order to succeed in those other academic pursuits. It is impossible to overestimate the significance of knowledge to the entire development of a nation's educational system, economy, and population as a whole. It is primarily the English language's utilitarian usefulness to the larger Nigerian community that accounts for the prominence of the English language as a subject that is taught in schools. English is the language that is used in formal situations, such as businesses and governments, and it is the principal language that is used in research that is conducted in the scientific field. Aladeyomi (2017) has highlighted the relevance of the USC of the English language in facilitating communication across the several various ethnic groups that are present in Nigeria. This is perhaps the most essential aspect of his work. In addition to this, he placed a strong emphasis on the need of improving the level of English language ability among children of school age, both verbally and in written form. On the other hand, one of the most critical educational problems that are drawing the attention of the public right now is the low level of academic accomplishment, especially in public examinations (Amuseghan, 2017). This problem of kids in schools not achieving high academic achievement has persisted in a variety of subject areas, including English, Mathematics, and Science (Bamgbose, 2019). This poor level of skill in a range of academic disciplines may be attributable, at least in part, to the fact that students did not have a solid grounding in the English language when they were still in elementary school. According to the results of a number of research, which provide support to the aforementioned perspective, ineffective use of language is inextricably linked to below-average academic attainment (Bamgbose, 2019). According to Bhela (2020), it should not come as a surprise that in today's world, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the passing of English language at credit or distinction level in addition to other subjects in order to enable any candidate to gain admission into any Nigerian Higher Institution of learning or to be placed well in a good white collar job. This is something that should not come as a surprise because it should come as no surprise that in today's world, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the passing As a result of the government's awareness of the significance of the English language to both the improvement of individuals' educational attainment and their capacity for effective communication, the English language was designated as a required subject. This occurred as a direct result of the government's awareness of the significance of the English language (Brown, 2021). Prior to enrollment in a university, students are expected to have completed coursework and received credit in the English language. It is not possible to get around this prerequisite. This helps to explain why so many parents go to such great lengths to ensure that their children get a passing grade of credit or above in their English language schoolwork. The relevance of the English language as a topic in Nigerian schools stems, first and foremost, from the fact that the ability to communicate in English is beneficial to Nigerian society as a whole. English is the predominant language used for communication in both the public and private sectors of the economy. It is the most common language found in academic studies and investigations. Above all else, Boyer (2019) has emphasized the necessity of making use of the English language in order to increase communication across the many diverse ethnic groups that make up Nigeria. This is the case even if English is not the official language of Nigeria. In addition to this, he placed a strong emphasis on the need of improving the level of English language ability among children of school age, both verbally and in written form.
On the other hand, one of the most urgent educational problems of public concern right now is the low level of academic performance, especially in public examinations. This is one of the most pressing educational issues of public concern right now. This chronic problem of poor academic achievement among children of school-age has been seen in a broad range of academic subjects, including mathematics, English, and science, amongst others. This poor level of competency in a range of academic disciplines may be attributable, at least in part, to a foundation that was not strong enough in the English language acquisition that took place in primary school. In addition, the outcomes of a number of studies lend support to the opinion that an inefficient use of language always correlates to poor academic attainment.
According to Aladeyomi (2017), the problem of low levels of achievement among elementary school kids in Nigeria was a serious one. This was stated in the article. This was the situation in spite of the fact that Nigeria had set goals for increasing the basic level of education by the year 1995. The results that Aladeyomi obtained may be seen here. The author made the observation that various signals of poor performance are still recognized even when the students move through the system. This observation was made despite the fact that the author had advanced through the system. In light of this, a research was carried out to establish the extent to which the observation made by Amuseghan, (2017) is relevant to primary school English. The trajectory that language will take after the year 2000.
It is possible, at the very least in part, that the method in which the English language is taught in schools and colleges is to blame for some of the deficiencies that have been observed in the English language accomplishments and skills of learners. Amuseghan (2017) and Brown (2016) are only two examples of people who have expressed their disagreement with the traditional method of education that is most often used in English language schools. According to Boyer (2016), the use of traditional teaching methodologies was to fault for students' lack of comprehension of essential writing skills. Earlier in his research, Bamgbose (2019) referred to this educational style as a "game of hits and misses." Bhela (2020) was against the dictatorial attitude of traditional teaching techniques since, according to her, it caused pupils to be disengaged while they were in the classroom. As a result of this, he suggested using an activity classroom as a venue for education, particularly at the elementary school level, in which students may make learning fun: These types of educational pursuits may include studying using physical items, artifacts, images, videos, and so on. Moreover, he suggested that this type of classroom be used in elementary schools.
According to Aladeyomi (2017)'s findings, primary school kids' overall performance in the English language was pretty poor. This was another one of the study's findings. They emphasized even further that the standard was low because of a number of other reasons, such as: 1.The use of tribal language in the lower classes of the primary school; 2.The fact that some students do not understand the grammar because their teachers themselves do not know it; and 3.The fact that the majority of the time, English language teachers in the senior primary schools resort to those of mother tongue to teach and explain the English language, even up to the secondary level.
These academics are of the view that the education system's policy on languages taught in the classroom needs to be scrutinized more closely. According to them, the assessment need to contain ideas that would make it feasible for students to be exposed to the issue very early on, beginning with elementary school. This would make it possible for students to develop an understanding of the topic. Anyway of the advantages connected with speaking their own language, this should be the standard practice regardless. They went on to suggest that the teaching and learning of English should be made more practical in our schools, and that both the amount of years spent studying and the amount of time spent teaching should be increased. In addition, they suggested that the amount of time spent teaching should be increased. In the end, but certainly not least, it is necessary to make accessible materials for education on the subject.
If we make it to this stage, we will hopefully have figured out how to fix the problem of having bad performance in the subject by then. For this reason, having a solid foundation in the English language is very crucial for enhanced performance. Aladeyomi (2017) takes a slightly divergent perspective on the issue of whether or not it is necessary to instruct younger children in English during the first few years of elementary school. The use of one's mother language in the process of teaching and learning during one's formative years, in his view, not only helps to preserve and love one's culture, but it also helps to extend one's vocabulary in a way that is culturally acceptable. He expressed this perspective in a statement. The author is of the opinion that the widespread use of the English language in early stages of primary education makes it difficult for a normal primary school child to be properly literary in either their native language or in English. He was of the opinion that the use of English at that level would cause the children to perform a mental translation of the initial concepts that were taught in English language to their mother tongue in order to acquire an adequate interpretation of the concepts that were presented. This was due to the fact that he believed that the children would need to do this in order to acquire an adequate understanding of the concepts that were presented. A person who is literate, even if it is just in their own language, will be completely equipped to live a life that is advantageous in a world that is continually changing, according to the researcher's perspective. Even if they are only literate in their own language. If permanent literacy is to be advanced in primary education settings, then one of the key focuses should be on fostering the use of one's mother tongue as the primary language of instruction in schools. This should be a priority. Aladeyomi (2017) conducted research to determine whether or not there are substantial gender differences in the academic performance of boys and girls in the schools located in New Zealand. According to the findings of a study that used a large sample size of 5300 students, the academic success of female students in the English language was significantly greater than that of male students, in terms of both the mean amount of curricular material covered and the test learning results. This was the case regardless of whether the research was conducted on male or female students. Despite this, the studies showed that male pupils had much greater mathematical performance than their female counterparts. The data also indicated that there was no obvious gap between the degrees of success obtained by men and girls in the area of science. This was shown by the fact that there was no difference between the levels of success attained. According to Amuseghan (2017), children in Nigerian junior secondary schools have a relatively low level of achievement in the English language and in literary pursuits. Either the academic performance of primary learners in the age range of (6–1 years) has to improve, or at the at least, the number of students who meet the minimum level needs to grow. Both of these things are necessary. This target has not yet been completed successfully.
despite the fact that the English language maintains its position as the primary medium of instruction in the majority of educational institutions. At this point in time, the most important emphasis of Nigeria's educational language strategy is on the delivery method and the use of the. Education in the elementary grades should be given either in the student's native language or in the language that is most commonly spoken in the community where the school is located. It is interesting to note that students attending private pre-primary schools only receive instruction in the English language from their teachers. There are fewer than twenty of Nigeria's languages that are utilized as teaching tools in primary schools through the medium of mother tongue instruction. This is a popular practice that may be seen all around the country. English is always utilized as the language of instruction throughout both the junior and senior years of secondary school education. No other language is ever used. The Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with other educational statutory agencies, included the use of mother tongue as a medium of education for pupils at the pre-primary and primary level throughout the country in the National Policy on Education published in 1977 and revised in 1981. This policy was initially published in 1977 and is still in effect today. This was done in acknowledgement of the significance of, and contributions made by, students' native languages to their educational experiences. According to Section 2(u) of the National Policy on Education, which was initially published in 1977 and later revised in 1981, which stated that "Also in section 3 of the same National Policy on Education, it was stated that: "The Government will see to it that the medium of instruction in the primary school is initially the mother tongue of the immediate community, and at a later stage, the medium of instruction in the primary school will be either the mother tongue of the immediate community or the language of the immediate community." In this section, it is emphasized that the utilization of the Nigerian language in the course of the instructional process is very important " In addition to recognizing the significance of language in the educational process and as a method for preserving the culture of the people, the government also believes that it is an important means of promoting cultural diversity. This belief stems from the fact that the government understands the significance of language in the educational process and as a method for maintaining the culture of the people
It is in the best interest of the cohesiveness of our nation that every youngster be encouraged to study one of the three main languages in addition to their mother tongue. These languages are English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.
As a result, the Nigerian mother tongue is an element of Nigerian culture. It serves as a medium through which culture is communicated or transmitted, and it is also vulnerable to the values, beliefs, and perspectives that have been shaped by culture. The positive results of the experiment in Mother Tongue Medium in Yoruba that was carried out at the then University of Ife empirically demonstrated the great advantages, of mother tongue in primary education for scholastic attainment (Bamgbose, 2019), and even in the successful mastery of English as a second language. This was done at the time when the University of Ife was located in Nigeria. (Bamgbose, 2019) At this point in time, it is of the utmost importance to investigate whether or not the mother tongues of children have any influence, if any, on the level of English language proficiency they achieve in secondary school. It is of the utmost importance to raise people's awareness of the fact that the problems exist and, on the basis of the information that will be uncovered, to offer suggestions as to what might be done in order to reduce the negative effects of the problems in the event that they cannot be completely eradicated. Therefore, this study will assess mother tongue as correlates of students academics performance in English.
Statement of the problem
Statistics released by the West African Examination Council, which conducts the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, show that less than ten percent of secondary school leaver passes in English language at credit level. At the tertiary level of education students have so much difficult with their communicative skills In English that they cannot function effectively in the academic use of English (Bamgbose, 2019). There is no doubt that there is a great diversity of varieties and functions of English in Nigeria. For example, it is extensively used in both the electronic and the print media, in the judiciary, the police, the armed forces, the legislative, etc. and as a lingua franca in political mobilization, ethical orientation and population education. This confirms the entrenchment of English as the dominant official language of Nigeria. The nagging problem however concerns the quality of English that is taught and used in the system. The concern being expressed in informed educational circles is .the extent to which the variety and quality of English being learned and used the school system can serve in achieving Nigeria's educational goals and the objectives. It is therefore generally accepted that in teaching .and learning processes the mother tongue of the child is of utmost importance. For one thing, it categorizes a large part of the child's environment, that is, it has names for most of the objects, actions, ideas, attributes and so on that are so important to him, as well as to any society. In many developing countries today, this is either local language or the language of the previous colorizing power.
The study is designed to examine the influence of mother tongue on Students performance in English language in Junior School Certificate Examination. The study investigated if mother tongue is solely the cause of the student’s woeful performance in English Language, in Junior School certificate Examination or if there are other complementing factors. Several scholars have addressed the core problems of communicative competence in the use of English language as L2 and its use as the main language of instruction in Nigeria's education delivery process. It is unfortunate that most school leavers (apart from the products of elite private schools) do not possess the required competence in the four language skills for both cognitive and communicative functions (Bamgbose, 2019). The mother tongue.is the child's environment and is the natural basis on which verbal skills can be built, children learn through communicating in a language, which they understood, hence the study examine mother tongue as correlates of students academics performance in english.
Objective of the study
The primary objective of the study is to examine mother tongue as correlates of students academics performance in English. The specific objective is as follows:
Determine the extent mother tongue influences pupils interest towards the learning of English.
Determine the extent mother tongue influences pupils use of English Language in daily communication.
Determine the extent mother tongue influences pupils speaking fluency of English Language.
Determine the extent mother tongue influences pupils’ academic attainment in English Language.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
What is the extent mother tongue influences pupils interest towards the learning of English?
What is the extent mother tongue influences pupils use of English Language in daily communication?
What is the extent mother tongue influences pupils speaking fluency of English Language?
What is the extent mother tongue influences pupils’ academic attainment in English Language?
1.5Significance of the study
This study would provide a threshold for proper understanding of the impacts of mother tongue on students' performance in English Language. It will also serve as a rich source of data for consultation by teachers and students on how to improve the performance of students in English Language. The project will form an invaluable material for the academia and the public in general.
The study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on the assessing feasibility study as a tool for new startup sustainability. This study will be delimited to some primary schools in Kwara State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.9 Definition of terms
Mother Tongue: The native language one first learns to speak before other language. Academic performance: the extent to which a student, teacher, or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals and is measured either by continuous assessment or cumulative grade point average